What is root canal treatment?
At Castle Dental, we believe root canal treatment or therapy has an unnecessarily bad reputation. Comedians on TV commonly joke and compare something painful to root canal but nothing can be further from the truth. The hardest part is having to stay awake!
All jokes aside, the most uncomfortable thing about root canal is actually having to keep your mouth open (not the pain). Advances in local anaesthetics mean root canal treatment should not be painful.
When would you have root canal treatment?
This form of treatment is undertaken when there is:
- Irreversible pain from a nerve or tooth
- Nerve decay and you would like to save the tooth
Dentists call root canal treatment endodontics which means ‘endo’ (Greek prefix for inside) and ‘dont’ (tooth). So we are working inside the tooth.
The procedure is a three step process:
- The nerve is removed to remove the pain.
- The inside of the tooth is cleaned to remove bacteria and infection.
- The canal is filled to prevent bacteria from entering and getting reinfected.
Following the root canal treatment, there is often not much tooth structure left. This can be due to previously having a large and deep filling, or due to the dentist having to hollow out the tooth to reach the nerve. Either way, due to the removal of large amounts of tooth a crown or onlay may be suggested to protect the tooth from cracking or splitting.
When undertaking root canal treatment, we always place a rubber dam around the tooth. This acts like an umbrella around the tooth. We use chlorine based disinfectants to kill and remove the bacteria and infection, we do not want our patients with a pool of chlorine in their mouth.